Dunne No-Hits Auburn For Sweep

Sophomore hurler Kelsi Dunne pitched her second no-hitter of the season to lead No. 5 Alabama in a 6-0 victory over Auburn on Sunday at the UA Softball Complex. The win on Senior Day completes the sweep over the Tigers and marks the 20th straight win at home. With the victory the Crimson Tide clinched the Southeastern Conference Western Division title.

Alabama improved its record to 43-8 overall and 19-6 in the SEC while Auburn fell to 28-24 on the season and 8-17 in SEC play.

"It was a great day and another great pitching performance," Alabama Coach Patrick Murphy said. "Her [Dunne] screwball was low and on the corner and her rise ball got them [Auburn] to swing and miss. To me when they swing through early in the game that is when I know she is on and she was today with the 14 strikeouts."

Dunne (23-2) struck out a season-high 14 batters en-route to the fourth no-hitter of her career. The no-hitter was Alabama's second of the week, the first of which came from Charlotte Morgan on Wednesday night against No. 20 Georgia Tech.

"I just went out there and laid my heart on the line for the seniors because it was a big day for them," Dunne said. "The past week I have gotten to work with coach Vann [Stuedeman] in the bullpen on some things that have been missing. It has been coming along and we will see where it goes from here."

Dunne was the winning pitcher in all three victories over Auburn.

The Tide was efficient at the plate, scoring six runs off seven hits and was led by Ashley Holcombe who hit 2-for-4 with one RBI and two runs scored. Brittany Rogers and Morgan each collected a hit and one RBI.

Alabama was held scoreless for the first three innings but posted three runs in the bottom of the fourth to break the tie.

With the bases loaded and one out, Whitney Larsen grounded to third and the errant throw to the plate allowed Jennifer Fenton and Holcombe to score. Rogers then drove in Kellie Eubanks on a fielder's choice to second base.

The Tide added to its lead with two more runs in the bottom of the fifth.

Cassandra Reilly-Boccia led the inning off with a walk, then pinch runner Lisa Elizondo stole second. Holcombe singled to the right-center wall to score Elizondo and then Eubanks singled on a line drive to right-center to advance Holcombe to third.

An attempted run-down of Eubanks between first and second allowed Holcombe to steal home and give Alabama the 5-0 lead.

In the bottom of the sixth Lauren Parker doubled to left-center and was later brought home by a single from Morgan to give Alabama its sixth and final run of the game.

Auburn's Jenee Loree was tagged with the loss after pitching 4 2/3 innings and giving up five runs, two earned on five hits. The loss moves Loree to 12-9 on the season.

Alabama will wrap up regular season play with a three-game series in Knoxville, Tenn. against the Volunteers beginning on Friday, May 1 before taking part in the SEC Tournament in Knoxville.

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